Sports teams want to engage every fan in every way, whether it be watching a game online, on broadcast, or in the stadium or following their favorite teams and players on social channels. To do this, data has become critical to sports teams for understanding who fans are and how to best convert and delight them wherever they might be.
In our new series, we’re going to experts around the world who are using fan data in new and unique ways to enhance the sports experience top to bottom.
This Week’s Expert
This week, we spoke with David Brady, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Houston Dynamo. Brady has been with the Dynamo since November 2017. He oversees the club’s marketing and communications efforts, along with the club’s ticket sales and service initiatives. He’s always looking for ways to increase their brand relevance within the Houston Market and create the ultimate fan experience across their digital and in-venue.
In his own words, here’s how Brady and his team use data to better understand their fans and help drive revenue.
What are some of your top priorities?
For me, it’s all about finding our fanbase and getting them to engage with the Dynamo brand. We are able to break our owned and our potential fan base into four distinct groups: the soccer purist, the soccer enthusiast, the general sports fan and our Dynamo fans. Knowing that this is how we should approach and target these groups really leads us to think about where we want to engage fans and what actions we want them to take. We’re all about about focusing and capturing the attention and converting of the soccer enthusiasts and the general sports fan to becoming Dynamo fans.
What are some of the challenges you are facing?
We really need to understand and get to know who the Dynamo fan is. We know there a ton of people engaging with us online and from the MLS we know there are 193,000 households that are fans, but we have a fraction of them in our database and it’s difficult to see how they differ from those general sports fans. This is why we sought out Umbel as a solution–to help us really get to the heart of what makes our fans unique and help us acquire those fans that we don’t have in our database.
How else are you using Umbel?
We are primarily using Umbel and their Activations for lead generation. We’ve been able to run campaigns that both help my team gather data on our fans and deliver hot leads to our direct sales team. When my sales team comes to me after an Umbel campaign and say “these are some of the strongest leads we’ve had in a long time,” I know we are doing something right. Over the course of 9 Activations, we’ve acquired over 7,000 net new fans and 43% of those fans raised their hands for premium tickets.
We also use Umbel to run really targeted campaigns. For example, we ran a campaign for a Thursday night game in August and targeted new audiences. Of those that purchased for that match, 81% of those were not in our database.
That’s incredible! Are there things you are looking forward to doing in the future with the data, Activations, or the Umbel Platform?
I’m really excited to dive deeper into ticket sales and campaign targeting. We’ve started to experiment with group sales—we saw a 10X return on a campaign we ran with a local church—but, there seems to be so much potential. We have really strong relationships with a lot of organizations that promote group outings. Now that we have this tool, we can really help enhance their experience in working with us.